Headlines: Singapore – tanker hijacked by pirates in Gulf of Aden; UN – new courtroom opened in Kenya to try piracy suspects; NATO – submarine to combat piracy; UN – Somali leadership encouraged to build in recent gains; IMO – June 25 to be “Day of the Seafarer” on annual basis; USCG – IMO e-newsletter; NOAA – eastern distinct population segment of Steller sea lion; House – bill introduced to strengthen homeland security; Court – negligent failure to monitor weather; New Zealand – risk-based customs audits; and IMO – fitness for duty – hours of rest.
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Singapore – tanker hijacked by pirates in Gulf of Aden
The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) issued a news release stating that a Singapore-registered petroleum/chemical tanker was hijacked by pirates while transiting the Gulf of Aden. The MPA is working with relevant government agencies and the owner and is monitoring the situation. The crew is reported to be safe. The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that notified it that the pirates were on board. The incident occurred approximately 80 miles off the northern Somali coast. (6/28/20).
UN – new courtroom opened in Kenya to try piracy suspects
The United Nations (UN) issued a news release stating that the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Government of Kenya opened a new high-security courtroom in Mombasa to try piracy suspects. The facility was paid for with funds contributed by Australia, Canada, the European Union, France, Germany, and the United States. (6/25/10).
NATO – submarine to combat piracy
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) issued a news release stating that a Dutch submarine will be deployed to waters off the coast of Somalia as part of the multinational effort to combat piracy. The submarine will be used to monitor communication between pirate vessels and their warlords on shore. The submarine will be deployed from the end of September to the end of November. NATO recently extended Operation Ocean Shield through the end of December 2012. (6/28/10).
UN – Somali leadership encouraged to build on recent gains
The United Nations (UN) issued a news release stating that the out-going Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia Ahmedou Ould-Abdullah, in a farewell letter, thanked the leadership of the Transitional Federal Government and encouraged them to build on recent gains. He noted that peace will take time due to important vested interests, including illegal trade, fishing, dumping of waste, and piracy. (6/28/10).
IMO – June 25 to be “Day of the Seafarer” on annual basis
The IMO issued a news release stating that the Conference of Parties to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978 has unanimously agreed that the unique contribution made by seafarers from all over the world should be marked annually with a “Day of the Seafarer”. The date of June 25, when the STCW revisions were adopted, has been selected as the commemorative date. (6/28/10).
USCG – IMO e-newsletter
The US Coast Guard issued the latest edition of its IMO e-newsletter summarizing recent activity at the IMO. This edition addresses, among other things, maritime safety, goal-based ship construction standards, and marine environment protection. (6/28/10).
NOAA – eastern distinct population segment of the Steller sea lion
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is conducting a 5-year review of the eastern distinct population segment of the Steller sea lion. Comments on this review should be submitted by August 30. 75 Fed. Reg. 37385 (June 29, 2010).
House – bill introduced to strengthen homeland security
Representative King (R-NY) introduced the Counterterrorism Enhancement and Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act of 2010 (H.R. 5590) to strengthen measures to protect the United States from terrorist attacks and to authorize appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security for fiscal year 2011, and for other purposes. This 414-page bill includes numerous maritime provisions. (6/24/10).
Court – negligent failure to monitor weather
The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that failing to prudently monitor and interpret available weather information and sailing a vessel directly into the path of a hurricane constitutes negligence for which the vessel and its owner may be held liable. In the instant case, the vessel departed Vera Cruz, Mexico for New Orleans as Tropical Storm Katrina was developing into a hurricane. Both the master and the owner’s representative failed to monitor the evolving situation and to appreciate its significance. The owner’s representative declined an opportunity to divert the vessel to a port outside the projected path of the hurricane. After the vessel moored in New Orleans, the strong winds parted the lines and drove the vessel to the other side of the river, where it allided with plaintiffs’ barges and towboats. Crescent Towing v. M/V Chios Beauty, No. 09-30055 (5th Cir., June 23, 2010).
New Zealand – risk-based customs audits
The New Zealand Customs Service issued a media release explaining its risk-based audit program. (6/28/10).
IMO – fitness for duty – hours of rest
The IMO issued a news release stating that the Diplomatic Conference of Parties to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978 agreed to a series of new provisions on the issue of “fitness for duty – hours of rest”, to provide watchkeeping officers aboard ships with sufficient rest periods. (6/25/10). Note: Many thanks to my long-suffering friend Leo Lampinen for pointing out that the hyperlink in yesterday’s newsletter was inoperative.
If you have questions regarding the above items, please contact the editor:
Dennis L. Bryant
Bryant’s Maritime Consulting
4845 SW 91st Way
Gainesville, FL 32608-8135
© Dennis L. Bryant – June 2010